Work/Life Flexibility

sloanThe Indiana University School of Medicine was recently awarded with a $250,000 grant for excellence in faculty career flexibility from the American Council on Education and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. IU School of Medicine was one of five medical schools in the nation to receive this award at ACE’s annual board of directors meeting in Washington, D.C.

The award was meant to recognize and reward medical schools demonstrating policies and promising practices that provide unbiased opportunities for work/life balance that can be adopted by a larger number of medical schools in the future.  To learn more about the Alfred P. Sloan foundation’s work with medical institutions, please click here.

IUSM was recognized for its innovative culture of support for faculty at all phases of the career life cycle, from recruitment to senior faculty and institutional leaders, by focusing on three main factors identified in previous research as critical to workplace flexibility: clarity of role expectations, social support for work-life demands and workplace schedule input.

In 2015, the IU School of Medicine launched a new Work/Life portal for campus faculty.

Project Goals

Social Support

  1. Enhance recruitment across institution and create a school-wide system for recruiting dual career couples
  2. Engage senior and emeritus faculty more regularly in opportunities for coaching and mentoring
  3. Investigate ways to increase support for dependent care giving demands

Role Clarity

  1. Communicate policies and procedures through a web-based Work-Life Portal
  2. Revise faculty appointments and promotion and tenure criteria so expectations match work realities
  3. Clarify policies regarding part-time faculty and advocate for change in part-time faculty benefits and engagement

Schedule Control

  1. Promote opportunities to increase the use of technology for working and attending meetings remotely
  2. Partner with departments and clinical units to develop shared understanding of preferences for work-life integration and the structure of work

Faculty Career Flexibility Committee List

Advisory Panel
The Advisory Panel for the Sloan/ACE Award for Faculty Career Flexibility is composed of leaders throughout IUSM, IUPUI, and its affiliated health partners.  The committee provides recommendations and general guidance on all facets of the project and is an integral part of its success.

Faculty Appointments, Promotion & Tenure Committee
Possibly the most expansive of any of our proposed committees, it is charged with revising and clarifying promotion criteria for clinical track faculty so that expectations match what is possible within the realm of their work realities as well as revising descriptions and expectations for each faculty appointment type.  Recently the committee has tackled seminal issues such as the recognition of team science in the promotion process and engaging part-time faculty through policies and programming.

Dependent Caregiving Committee
Charged with advocating for policies to support the dependent care needs of faculty at IUSM, the Dependent Caregiving committee is primarily interested in increasing schedule flexibility for all faculty and staff.  Possible considerations include additional on-site childcare facilities, emergency childcare services, elder care services and childcare/maternity policies.

Partnership with the Herron School of Art and Design
As part of the Sloan/ACE Award for Faculty Career Flexibility, IUSM is partnering with the Herron School of Art and Design to create a portal that will contain information for faculty work-life demands. Examples include resources for dependent caregiving demands and a searchable tool for IUSM and IUHP employment policies.